Public Art

Democracy!

These murals celebrate the work of iconic British illustrator Ralph Steadman.  Steadman is best known for his collaborations with American author and gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Democracy! (featured in the north-facing mural) was originally commissioned by the Independent Newspaper.  In the 1990s, Steadman worked for many publications, including the New Statesman, Telegraph Magazine, Director Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and would often produce one-off, stand-alone pieces for articles.  Some may be surprised to know that he has also written and illustrated many children’s books, including That’s My Dad, printed by Anderson Press in 1986.  This quirky, humorous little book highlights Steadman’s love of the funny and absurd.  In it, the voice of a child describes his dad in outlandish terms, such as having hundreds of legs and a tail, only to discover that he has described somebody else’s dad – the monster featured in the east-facing mural on the other side of this building, adjacent to the 12th St. alleyway.  The project showcases his first public murals anywhere in the world.  This was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the team to help bring three of his artist-driven works to life.   Funded in full by the family of Frank Wood, Cincinnati’s “Commissioner of Fun”, and inspired by his personal saying, “A bad idea knows no bounds”, these highly visible murals have transformed the block with weird, innovative, inspiring, and wildly entertaining work.  In addition, Steadman provided a studio brush and some of his paints to integrate into the mural.  What does “democracy” mean to you?

Photo Credit:  Ralph Steadman: Democracy! © 2017 ArtWorks / Ralph Steadman / 1200 Walnut St. / Photo by J. Miles Wolf

Ralph Steadman
Jim Effler | Jenny Roesel Ustick
1200 Walnut St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

Joshua Mindlin | Ian Hermanns

Elizabeth Anneken | Isaiah Berry | Kayla Billing | Elias Dean | Elijah Dornal | Eliora Kirk | Jonah Kolik | China Nicholson | Calvin O’Brien | Tabarek Qasim | Marian Scruggs | Emily Stein

The Wood Family
American Scaffolding, Inc. | PFMG | Ralph Steadman Art Collection

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